A. N. Wilson

Larkin at 100: a tribute (1985)

This piece is taken from The Spectator’s fully digitised archive. There are many ways of judging poets. One sure test of their personal appeal is how many lines of their poetry you can remember. Not only can I remember a lot of Larkin, I find that it has sunk very deep, and become part of

The new leviathan: the big state is back

48 min listen

It seems we are in a new President/Prime Minister alliance of big government spending, should we be excited or concerned? (00:44) Also on the podcast: Are the UK tabloids going woke? (15:00)? And in the wake of the pandemic are we ready to have a grown up conversation about death?(31:11) With Spectator Political Editor James

Covid has warped our collective attitude to death

So, having been promised that normal life would recommence on 21 June, we are once again frustrated by the Covid scientists. The trouble is, of course, that as far as we know the virus is never going away, so according to the logic of the scientists, there is no reason ever to allow us to

Forlorn Plorn: The Dickens Boy, by Thomas Keneally, reviewed

Parents are always terrified of bad family history repeating itself. Prince Albert dreaded his son Bertie turning into a roué like his own father, and this of course happened. Charles Dickens had fantasised in David Copperfield that the jokey version of his own father — Mr Micawber — would become a success in life by